Right now, O2O or online-to-offline is one of the trendiest topics in world of retail industry. Offline retail industry constitutes 88.1% of global retail business. It is high time that best of both worlds be merged together.
Advantages of eCommerce over offline retail stores
eCommerce industry is using technology in its highest form. Availability of analytics tools are helping webmasters to analyze demographics, zero in on targeted buyers, read buyers’ psyches and making nearly perfect predictions on purchase habits. Sets of data are enabling teams of digital marketers to build outstanding customer engagement strategies.
How can O2O bridge the gap between online and offline retailing?
Some retail stores run both online and offline operations and are known as click-and-mortar stores. Online-and-offline retailing is different from click-and-mortar in the sense that buyers cannot make online purchases.
O2O engages some popular means of online marketing to identify consumers (like posting advertisements on the internet or sending emails) and capture their attention. Gradually, consumers are enticed to visit physical stores and make purchases.
Best of online and offline marketing strategies are implemented for getting finest results.
Looking like the worst fears of physical retail store owners will be covered by O2O mode
Offline retail store owners apprehended the advent of eCommerce. Online stores have some major advantages like:
1: Have an access to diverse varieties of products: Probably, the most fascinating trait of online stores is the absence of any physical store. Online retail giants like Amazon and Alibaba mostly act as affiliate marketers. They offer a platform for individual product sellers (and also service providers) where they can enlist their goods.
Online retail stores hire services of top shipping companies. Later deliver well-packaged goods at buyers’ addresses.
Online retail stores literally get an access to elaborate sets of products belonging to various categories.
2: Cost overhead is lower: Cost overheads of running physical retail stores are pretty high. Store owners need to pay rents for retail stores. They also have to pay salaries of employees. In addition, hefty electricity bills and other payments tend to inflate overall cost overhead.
eCommerce stores also pay for all above-mentioned cost overheads. However, given the massive scale of business done by them, particularly that done by the likes of Amazon, profit outshines manifolds the total cost overhead.
3: Availability of unlimited space: Online retail stores can have their storehouses. However, it’s not an essential requirement. Usually, eCommerce stores hire services of shipping companies.
When customers book products of particular brands, they get notifications. They pack products, employees of shipping services collect them and deliver them at buyers’ addresses.
While click-and-mortar stores use online and offline modes to complement each other, O2O focuses on spreading awareness via the internet, inspire consumers to compare prices and qualities online and entice them to visit stores physically.
O2O can bridge the gap between online and offline retail stores as follows:
Consumers can book products online and pick them at retail stores. Thus, they get an opportunity to verify product qualities or check product colors by themselves.
Consumers can return products at physical stores which they had booked online. No need to wait for shipping companies to collect products, return them and then get back exchanged products delivered at specified addresses.
Sometimes consumers don’t find proper sizes of garments while looking through an apparel retail store. They can book products online and ensure their availability at brick-and-mortar stores.
It is expected that O2O will gradually gain popularity and encourage online buyers to visit retail stores. Retail store owners can get in touch with a Sitecore certified solution partner like us and migrate to O2O retailing.
Retail store owners can avail free demos by simply dropping a few words on our website. They can specify preferred hours to have a conversation with us and we’ll get back, right on time.